Opportunities for people to connect.
What you told us
You would like to see more programs and events to help people connect with one another. You’d specifically like support for volunteering, community, recreational, and art activities. You also told us you are proud of the Arts Precinct, and you’d like to see more arts and cultural activities for residents. You would also like to have a centralised place to share community information.
“Connecting after COVID-19. Events like street parties."
“Centralised place for all information - information in Southbank community is fragmented, incomplete, a lot happening, and we don't know about it.”
“The unique identity of the Arts Precinct could be further developed and extended across Southbank and the surrounding parks by including more public art that would be accessible to everyone. Make the area more enjoyable, by supporting more grassroots art and culture, by hosting free or affordable concerts and events, by having more initiatives from the existing cultural institutions that could host locals’ nights, workshops and so on."
What we’re doing
We support community organisations and projects through Connected Community Grants and Connected Neighbourhoods Small Grants programs.
The Christmas Collective Program is an initiative of the Christmas Festival. If you’d like to organise an event or activity that displays a distinctly Christmas theme, check out this grant.
We play an important role in the arts, fostering creative experimentation by encouraging and funding artists, promoting participation, and bringing art and people together. We support arts and cultural activities in Southbank in many ways.
We deliver some of the Christmas Festival in Southbank and music events as part of On the Road again and Music in the City with pop up celebrity performances.
We are presenting multiple premier events with extensive free programming throughout the year, including New Year’s Eve, Christmas Festival, Moomba, Melbourne Music Week, Melbourne Fashion Week, narrm ngarrgu Melbourne Knowledge Week and YIRRAMBOI.
Several events supported through Event Partnership Program (EPP) and are held in Southbank including: Kids Summer Festival and Kids Exhibitions, Queer, Kids Day Out, Southbank, Community Day, Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Festival and Victorian Disability Sport and Recreation Festival. You can find out more about current events at What’s On page.
Our Arts Grants are available to artists and small to medium arts organisations from all backgrounds and abilities. Through these grant programs we’re supporting local artists across the city including people living in and presenting their work in and around Southbank.
The Creative Spaces website is a free resource for artist and creative industries that connects artists and creative practitioners with spaces, promotes artists and their work, and provides an index of live and virtual events.
We operate several recreation centres, offering a wide range of sports and recreational facilities and programs for people of all ages and fitness levels. You can also find information on sporting activities including cycling, walking, skating and more.
Our Active Melbourne App is free and includes on-demand and live virtual gym classes and tracking and personalised training programs.
We provide volunteering opportunities including information on how to connect with community based organisations. Check out the Community notice board for local organisations and event
- Southbank Library and Boyd Community Hub programmes included storytime, youth programs, book clubs, conversation clubs and employment support workshops.
- Southbank Sustainability Group continues fortnightly gardening at Boyd Community Hub. The group is also delivering a series of free sustainability workshops: Planting for Small Spaces, Zero Waste Living, and Indoor Plant Propagation. Boyd library supports the workshops by curating relevant books for display. The series is supported by our Waste Minimisation and Innovation Fund small grant.
- Southbank Residents Association (SRA) hosted community events with topics including New to Southbank’, local history, and strata living.
- Southbank3006 hosted community events with topics including bike safety, light pollution, strata reform, and Aboriginal cultural heritage.
- 4 groups in Southbank received Connected Neighbourhood Small Grant
to strengthen community connections. With the grant, Freshwater Place residential building will organise activities around the existing community garden, Gallery Tower residential building will engage with an Aboriginal artist for an art project, and Rozi Flower Fairies will offer a “Flower Fairies & The Miracle Question” project where participants can craft flower-fairies with introduction to visioning thoughts. FilmLab
hosted a successful event “Table Read”, an organised reading of a movie script.
- There are other ongoing community events at Boyd Community Hub including weekly Tai Chi, monthly board games, and monthly community tea and hangout sessions.
- 16 community members and businesses joined Imagination Southbank. In this 5-day workshop, participants imagined the future of Southbank and how they might create these futures. Imagination Southbank is a collaborative project between Centre for Public Impact, Hinterland Lab, and City of Melbourne.
- Boyd Community Hub is busy with community activities: Australian Business Review (ABR) hosts Poets Lounge on the first Wednesday of the month. Southbank Sustainability Group meets every fortnight at the community garden. Southbank3006 hosts monthly community forum on the last Sunday of the month. Library children’s programs are on every Monday and Thursday.
- Work is underway to prepare for Melbourne’s much-loved Moomba Festival with an extra day of fun added to its line up of family-friendly entertainment in celebration of its 69th year. Australia’s largest free community festival will be bursting with colour and excitement, featuring a range of spectacular events and attractions. The festival will support over 800 jobs across a range of sectors including the arts, creative, construction and services industries. The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Symbol initiative will also run again at this year’s event, helping support those living with hidden disabilities.
- We are sponsoring following events via the annual Event Partnership Program and the City Reactivation Event Support Program in the period from October 2022 to December 2023: NGV Kids Summer Festival and Kids Exhibition at NGV (1/1/2023 – 8/10/2023), Victorian Seniors Festival, Victorian Disability Sports and Recreation Festival
- We have supported various community projects with Connected Neighbourhoods Small Grants. Applications are open all year until the budget has been fully allocated. No applications have been submitted from the Southbank neighbourhood.
- Applications for our Inclusive Communities Grants are open. This includes operational support grants of up to $2000 and for larger projects and initiatives up to $20,000.
- Applications for Community Events Grants are open. Up to $10,000 per event are available to not-for-profit organisations.
- Owners Corporations and management companies are looking at ways to bring residents together for social activities, including Essential Community which invited residents from various high-rise buildings in the CBD and Southbank to meet their neighbours for a Trivia Night in December.
- Southbank 3006 residents group supported by Christmas Collective Program and Boyd Community Hub delivered the Xmas event "A Very Merry Friend-mas " with over 1000 resident attending on the day enjoying a full day of programmed activities , music, performances, stalls and more.
- The Yarra River Business Association (YRBA) hosted the South Wharf Christmas Choir and Film evening on 18 December 2022.
- Melbourne experienced its busiest month of activity in December since the start of the pandemic, anchored by the City of Melbourne’s beloved Christmas Festival and biggest ever New Year’s Eve celebrations. Around 475,000 people brought in 2023 in style in the city, with the vast majority of travellers safely enjoying the dazzling fireworks and laser displays from 30 CBD rooftops.
- We lifted the holiday spirit with our Christmas Decoration program. The river’s edge in Southbank remains a focus with regards to driving visitation and connection to the city’s core retail and hospitality offering. Queensbridge Square featured a pop-up playground featuring bell swings, a giant dance floor and an interactive orchestra. Christmas installations and activations were held across the precinct from late November to 24 December 2022.